Research studies

Lebanese Crises, State of Emergency and Policing Revolt, Demonstrations, Pandemic Measures and Blast

 

Prepared by the researcher  :  Ghadir El Alayli – Adjunct Professor and Lecturer at Université Saint-Joseph – Attorney-at-Law, Consultant and Researcher  – Ph.D. in public law – Beirut- Lebanon

Democratic Arab Center

Journal of Afro-Asian Studies : Eleventh Issue – November 2021

A Periodical International Journal published by the “Democratic Arab Center” Germany – Berlin. The journal deals with the field of Afro-Asian strategic, political and economic studies

Nationales ISSN-Zentrum für Deutschland
ISSN 2628-6475
Journal of Afro-Asian Studies
:To download the pdf version of the research papers, please visit the following link

https://democraticac.de/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Journal-of-Afro-Asian-Studies-Eleventh-Issue-%E2%80%93-November-2021.pdf

Abstract

The current security situation in Lebanon is highly alarming because of the political developments relating to the judicial investigation concerning Beirut port’s blast dated August 4, 2020, among other factors of instability. It is therefore crucial to draw up political and legal overviews of the said blast and the relevant investigation, as well as of policing notably during the numerous demonstrations across the country since October 17, 2019’s revolt. It is also important to formulate political and legal glances at the State of Emergency that occurred in Beirut in connection with the port’s explosion, and the national State of Emergency at the beginnings of the COVID pandemic.

Introduction

“The old world is dying; the new world struggles to be born.

In this chiaroscuro surge monsters”  

 “Antonio Gramsci” [2]

Gramsci’s abovementioned thought applies to the currently diminishing Lebanese State amid people’s collapse and agony across their numerous divergences. Psychologically, at least, most of the Lebanese residing in their homeland are “dying” indeed as their utmost ambition is now literally limited to survive day-to-day. A recent wordplay in Arabic criticizes the so-called Lebanese “resilience” as being in fact a daily humiliation that Lebanese are living even in the smallest details and basic logistics of routine life. As humiliation in Arabic is called “thull” ذلّ, some Lebanese activists in the civil society suggested that the word “resilience” should be pronounced instead “rethullience”.

In 2020, Lebanon celebrated the centennial anniversary for its declaration as a State, and recalled the 45th anniversary of its 1975 civil war. The 2019-2021 can be described as being years of protests in this small but geopolitically sensitive and historically, confessionnally and ethnically melting pot country encompassing several “minorities”. Some stakeholders now push for different political options such as transformations of the current regime (the so-called, à la française, “Second Republic”) into a “Third Republic”, federalism or confederalism.

In addition to the COVID pandemic and multi-faceted crisis resulting thereof, Lebanon is also confronting several catastrophic, overlapping and critical shocks. This led the overwhelmed State to default on its debts and to provide only very little public service delivery, if at all, to its own exacerbated population.

The financial situation remains severely challenging for the vast majority of Lebanese people as well as economic and professional sectors[3]. The World Bank recently reported that Lebanon is sinking to the top three worst crises worldwide since the mid-19th century[4]. The monetary and banking crisis has compounded needs among Lebanese communities and across residing non-Lebanese – including the large Palestinian and Syrian refugee populations.

The country is facing political challenges and the catastrophic consequences of Beirut’s traumatic blast- one of the largest non-nuclear explosions in history[5]: As per information and documents published to this date, on the 4th of August 2020, a warehouse at the capital’s port containing large quantities of ammonium nitrate (stored there since 2013) exploded, causing devastating loss of life, injuries and widespread damage across the city.

The current security situation in the country is highly alarming because of the political developments relating to the judicial investigation concerning the said blast, among other factors of instability. It is therefore crucial to draw up (I) political and (II) legal overviews of each of the following: Beirut’s blast and the relevant investigation; policing notably during the numerous demonstrations across the country since October 17, 2019’s revolt; the State of Emergency that occurred in Beirut in connection with the port’s explosion; and the national State of Emergency at the beginnings of the COVID pandemic.

  • Political overview: Beirut’s blast and its judicial investigation; policing; the State of Emergency

On the day following Beirut port’s blast, the (former) government declared a two-week state of emergency[6] in Beirut[7]. Afterwards[8], the said) caretaker (cabinet extended it[9] due to the ongoing, but modest, response efforts related to the port explosion. Unfortunately, the government and Beirut’s local authorities were generally inefficient in terms of emergency response to the blast. For instance, the municipality of Beirut had worked in 2018 with the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery as well as with the World Bank, and adopted the Comprehensive Urban Resilience Master Plan for Beirut. The latter should have provided local authorities with a strategy for addressing the city’s latest vulnerabilities to shocks and stressors[10].

A large part of the public opinion questioned the decision to extend the state of emergency[11], and voiced concern that it was unjustified and intended in fact to control (i) any eventual escalating protests against the Lebanese establishment, and (ii) any potential security incident in relation with the upcoming (but later on unexpectedly and slightly postponed) verdict announcement of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. For various reasons, decisions to extend the powers granted to the Lebanese Armed Forces under the State of Emergency[12] were considered by some experts and NGOs to be illegal, unconstitutional[13] and in violation of international law.

In addition to the blast, some assassinations and fires (possibly related to it) aggravated the feeling of insecurity and instability in the country. Another turning point in Lebanon’s contemporary history, which also delivered martyrs and injured, is the Lebanese revolution of October 17, 2019: It is one of those historic moments and collective feelings that mark any society forever. Some catalysts had preceded and somehow announced the eventuality of upcoming demonstrations few days before, but a revolt was not expected.

Following the government’s announcement of additional tax plans, massive peaceful protests swept across Lebanon since October 17, blaming the political “elite”[14] for rampant corruption and cronyism, absence of transparency, culture of impunity and failing public services[15]. Demonstrations grew even much bigger than those of 2015 civic movement called “You Stink”. The latter had criticized the extraordinary mounds of trash piling up in the streets back then because of the clientelist system ruling the country.

Various civic movements and NGOs proliferated since then, while highly interesting and motivating discussion groups were organized during Autumn 2019 protests in downtown Beirut turning it then into a tent city and a mini-think-tank. People from different regions, confessions and socio-economic backgrounds all met in the heart of the city. The latter also became a very popular meeting point affordable to all including the poor, whereas before it was an area where mainly the rich could hang out.

In fact, traditional, alternative and cheap food and beverages stations were implemented in the capital’s downtown during the revolution. This, by itself, was a revolutionary socio-economic and even cultural transformation of the Lebanese society. The revolution was a dream come true that may seem now as not having lasted long enough. The upcoming parliamentary elections (that should occur constitutionally and legally in Spring 2022) may hopefully contribute to reviving that revolutionary moment.

Unfortunately, since 2020 (along with the COVID pandemic, its related measures and lockdowns), unemployment and poverty rise even more at dramatic rates, and the middle class progressively starts to disappear. The political establishment attempts continuously to divide protesters on different bases including sectarian and political grounds. As some demonstrators were unduly arrested with violations of their basic rights, a Lawyers’ Committee for the Defense of Protesters was formed as an ad hoc group of pro bono lawyers.

Some protesters are still mobilized here and there every now and then, calling for political change, good governance, accountability, and the rule of law. However, this is lately occurring in a smaller extent because of the pandemic, the severe local crises, and the systematic attempts by the establishment to polarize demonstrations, protesters and their claims.

Both the police and the army faced the Revolutionary and (mostly peaceful) protests occurring on a weekly, or even daily, basis. Demonstrants were met with an increasingly violent response from security forces. Often, the police did not abide by international crowd control standards. The use of excessive force was frequently unnecessary, disproportionate, illegitimate and illegal in the light of international law.

Civic and social media campaigns were launched to denounce these breaches and support the victims[16], notably those who lost their eyes and had sensitive head wounds and injuries, permanent disability and risked loss of life. In fact, shooting with powerful weapons, rubber bullets and live ammunition fired from short distance and close range are naturally even more dangerous than regular shootings.

In general, there is a lack of effective, credible and transparent accountability of the country’s security agencies. The latter should definitely enhance their human rights monitoring capability during public demonstrations. All of the above indicates the negligence and incompetence of the government to efficiently respond to people’s needs and claims (except through nepotism!).

Several local political parties also contributed to brutally repress peaceful protesters, including civil society activists, media workers, youth and women – who had captured much attention with their great role in the Revolution. Security Forces failed in most cases to efficiently intervene and protect peaceful demonstrants, as if their mission was to crush those claiming for reforms and rather protect attackers infringing fundamental rights and basic freedoms. These perpetrators were mainly supporters and allies of the party in charge of the local resistance, who artificially and intentionally introduced an imaginary sectarian taint to divide revolutionaries.

Back in 2000, the resistance had greatly contributed to liberating most of the countries’ South territories under “Israeli” occupation. However, it deceived a large part of the Lebanese people at different stages and for various reasons, notably by substantially supporting the corrupt establishment – even after the revolt emerged. One of the most dangerous aspects of the afore-mentioned political and security circumstances is the sensitive confessional and populist characters of several stakeholders’ actions and reactions. This might risk to lead the country, once again, to absurd sectarian or partisan clashes.

Because of the local crises, popular frustration and discontent were exacerbated, in Lebanon much more than in other countries, during the countrywide Covid-19 total lockdowns, related curfews and containment measures[17]. This has slowed the popular uprising’s momentum, with much of the population already concerned about the political establishment’s “resilience” and the continued unravelling of the economy. When the first lockdown was announced, the army and the security forces were even prompted to take down and dismantle protestors’ tents overnight for what was described as so-called “increasing trespasses.”

  • Legal glance: Beirut’s blast and its judicial investigation; policing; the State of Emergency

Ultimately, a human rights and fundamental freedoms-based approach should be used to assess the State of Emergency’s[18] impact[19] on democracy and the rule of law[20] in Lebanon[21] in 2020. Here is only a synopsis of some interesting aspects thereof related to COVID-19 Pandemic and Beirut Port’s Blast:

In the framework of 2020 national events and State of Emergency context, one may observe an inconsequent prioritizations and balances of conflicting principles, interests and needs. Shortcomings and threats were noticed in relation to command structure, coordination and control, notably regarding policing of public order events and human security. This lead to potential threats to human rights including the right to protest (which became even more challenging in time of pandemic), and the right to freedom of expression (particularly concerning the media).

In addition, an “Inter-Ministerial and Municipal Platform for Assessment, Coordination and Tracking” (IMPACT) Open Data website was founded[22] upon the Central Inspection’s initiative as being the first e-government platform in the country. Among other issues, it tackles mobility permits including those related to the access to crowded places, as well as pandemic related decisions, tracking and vaccination.

However, this platform was considered by some Lebanese authorities, experts and media as illegal by violating powers entitled to specific public administrations, and as problematic for security reasons. In fact, the original stakeholders are foreign: British on the technical level; British and French concerning the funding. The data security seems not to be fully covered and guaranteed[23]; and no legal answer is provided on how to file any administrative complaint or judicial lawsuit, if at all, against administrative (?) decisions made or provided through this platform.

Unfortunately, as is the case of numerous highly sensitive issues in the country, this phenomenon is being treated as a power struggle. The latter recently seems to be subject to a “political deal” that also takes into consideration foreign stakeholders’ influence[24], although this is a legal and technical matter related to Lebanese security and even sovereignty. In fact, solutions should be objective, relevant, legal and scientific in order to urgently, efficiently and sustainably tackle this crucial question, not as being part of the establishment’s power-sharing arrangements.

Furthermore, the numbers of vulnerable, disadvantaged or marginalized families, groups and individuals escalated in 2020 including the extremely poor. This pre-existing phenomenon was worsen by the measures taken in relation to the pandemic to limit working hours and even to suspend several work sectors. In fact, the context is crucial: the State is quasi-failed and not procuring any alternatives or substantial benefits to the people (in need). The increasing high cost of living is also critical, considering the limited and insufficiently planned distribution of social assistance, especially that the social safety net program funded by the World Bank was not yet effectively implemented.

Moreover, increased rates of crimes of gender-based violence during lockdowns were alarming, notably domestic violence against women. The entire health system broke down (laboratories, pharmacies and hospitalization), whereas no comprehensive health plan or relevant card is provided by government. The education system was faced to serious threats because of the unfolding financial crisis and the failure of the remote teaching experience (especially schooling): Students and teachers had to deal with the absence of proper internet connection in the country, with very little electricity supply causing blackouts and chronic power cuts. In addition, the local population having ease access to individual computer, tablet or smart-phone is limited.

Also, the poor infrastructure and maintenance of the already overcrowded prisons and jails could have caused both security and health significant challenges during the pandemic. A modest experience of automating and digitalizing the justice sector occurred, including through online /remote applications; however, major judicial challenges remain[25]. The transportation vehicles’ use was often limited without taking into consideration needs of many individuals and groups. For instance, numerous families were totally banned from such use, which some times radically annulled (not only limited) their freedom of movement and work in the light of the failed public transportation in the country.

Also, there was no psychological approach by the government regarding confinements and re-openings, although this was crucial in order to guide and help the people mentally switch and adapt to such recurrent strategic changes amidst other local crises. Beirut’s international airport was closed at some point, whereas only some of the Lebanese emigrants were authorized to come back to their homeland. However, the government did not seriously set and respect an objective selection criterion, which (reportedly) allowed discretionary decisions or nepotism.

The pandemic and the Beirut port’s blast revealed the crucial need inter alia for: e-government; enhancing administr­­ative decentralization[26], and empowering municipalities to take additional sanitary measures and face exceptional circumstances; adopting the disaster management law and strategies to confront similar circumstances, as well as enhancing the Higher Relief Commission’s role to strengthen disaster preparedness.

Regarding Beirut port’s blast, it should be noted that by storing dangerous explosive materials in a hazardous way for years, the Lebanese authorities neglected their duties to protect public safety and violated relevant international conventions and agreements, including those related to preventing the storage of explosive, toxic, and biological materials in the marine, air, and land facilities.

The (domestic) judicial investigation is being systematically riddled by political and confessional interference with dangerous due process violations as excessive use of so-called “immunities’ pleadings”, various “rights to challenge”[27], and even threats to the investigating judge, are taking place. Once again, it is mainly the party in charge of the local resistance and its allies who are causing this wrongful phenomenon leading to clashes and murders between Lebanese. Such politicized and sectarian-tainted polemics are also regularly postponing and even interrupting the said judicial process[28], whereas “Justice delayed [is] justice denied”[29].

Conclusion

In their large majority, Lebanese (and residents in Lebanon) are suffering on a daily basis as victims of a corrupt establishment. Even several citizens who massively emigrated in an exodus phenomenon after the crisis and the blast are sometimes subject to a kind of economic “exploitation” abroad: They often have to accept discriminatory or even diminishing employment financial conditions, only because of their homeland’s current situation. Sometimes, their major motivation is to transfer their modest monthly savings, if at all, to their families living in Lebanon to survive. For numerous Lebanese, anything became better than what their own President described as being a “living hell”.

In the past and early decades, the international community was not contributing to countering the widely and globally known, intense and escalating corruption in Lebanon ever since. This raises serious doubts as to whether the international community is genuine when it dangles and lures so-called “anti-corruption” efforts, notably since October 2019’s crucial Lebanese revolt.

In fact, numerous countries and their people are victims of domineering foreign opportunism backing up to a large extent their corrupt “local” rulers or governments- as long as the latter fall within the said foreign framework(s). Such unfortunate situation applies to Lebanon which is continuously still subject to regional and worldwide various and severe interferences (Knowing that this country in crises is commemorating today[30] its “Independence” Day). This dangerous global phenomenon illustrates and reflects the vicious and excessive misuse of Machiavellianism in an uneven “power” struggle in international relations.

Main Bibliography:

In English:

Michael Meyer-Resende and Hannah-Jil Prillwitz, Democracy Reporting International, Reconstitution programmer, States of Emergency and the Rule of Law: A Primer, April 2020, Primer_SoE_FINAL_web.pdf (reconstitution.eu)

Siren Associates, The State of Emergency in Lebanon, September 2020, The State of Emergency in Lebanon (sirenassociates.com)

Karim El Mufti, Shrinking Democracy in Lebanon, Democracy Reporting International, Briefing Paper, December 2020, https://democracy-reporting.org

André Sleiman, A Moment for Change, Democracy Reporting International, December 2019.

Ghadir El Alayli, Modest Administrative Decentralization In Lebanon And Its Expansion Plans, Journal of Constitutional Law in the Middle East and North Africa, December 2020:

http://www.jcl-mena.org/article.php?aid=6&iname=1

Aya Majzoub, Food and Cash Aid is Vital if Lebanon Goes Back into Lockdown, Emergency Social Safety Net Should Be Developed, Communicated, and Rolled Out Without Delay, November 10, 2020, https://www.hrw.org/ar/news/2020/11/10/376987

https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2021/05/01/lebanon-sinking-into-one-of-the-most-severe-global-crises-episodes

OCHA (unocha.org)

https://impact.cib.gov.lb/home

In Arabic:

Democracy Reporting International – Lebanon, Press Release dated August 14, 2020 about Beirut blast.

ناصر ياسين، تأمّلات في انتفاضة تشرين اللبنانيّة، 25 تشرين الأول 2019، معهد عصام فارس، مقالات الرأي، بيروت.

Issam Fares Institute and Lebanese Foundation for Permanent Civil Peace, October’s revolt, Round-Table, November 25, 2019, Issam Fares Institute, Beirut.

المنظمة الدولية للتقرير عن الديمقراطية، خطة الإصلاح: من الأزمة إلى الحكم الرشيد، ندوة 30 تشرين الثاني 2019، بيروت .

Elie El-Ferzli, Al-Akhbar newspaper, March 5, 2021: https://al-akhbar.com/Politics/301161

Elie El-Ferzli, Al-Akhbar newspaper, June 5, 2021: https://al-akhbar.com/Community/307791

Rola Ibrahim, Al-Akhbar newspaper, October 28, 2021: https://al-akhbar.com/Politics/321631

In French:

François Terré, Justice et équité dans le droit en crise, dans: Groupe d’auteurs dir. Simone Goyard et Francis Jacques, Le droit, le juste et l’équitable, Ed. Salvator, 2014, pp.234-235.

Geoffroy Lauvau, Raison d’Etat et Etat d’exception, dans: Encyclopédie de la culture politique contemporaine, dir. Alain Renaut et coord. Claire Demesmay, Pierre Zelenko et Ludivine Thiaw-Po-Une, Ed. Hermann, 2008, t.III, pp.352 et 354.

Brigitte Basdevant-Gaudemet, Religion et déclaration des droits, en Occident et dans le monde arabe, dans: Société d’Histoire du Droit, Droit Naturel et Droits de l’Homme, Journées Internationales, textes réunis par Martial Mathieu, Ed. CERDHAP, PUG, 2009, p.189.

Jacques Chevallier, L’Etat de droit, 4e Ed. Monchrestien, 2003, p.66.

Ghadir El’Alayli, Le droit naturel, fondement de l’Etat de droit panarabe, Editions Pedone, Paris, 2021.

Hassãn-Tabet Rifaat, Responsabilité pénale des anciens ministres, L’Orient-Le Jour, 23 octobre 2021, p.9 Idées, Commentaire.

L’Observatoire de la fonction publique et de la bonne gouvernance de l’USJ-Beyrouth, et Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, Démocratie en crise, Démocratie en mutation, Colloque international, 14 novembre 2019, Beyrouth.

[1] Ghadir El Alayli is adjunct professor at Saint Joseph University in law, political science and relevant philosophies. He is also an attorney-at-law, consultant and researcher in human rights, fundamental freedoms, public administration and public policy. He holds a Ph.D. in public law (from Saint Joseph University in Beirut).

* Conflicts of Interest: none.

[2] Antonio Gramsci, an Italian Marxist philosopher and activist, was born in the town of Alice on the Italian island of Sardinia in 1891. He received his studies at the Faculty of Arts in Turin, where he worked as a theater critic in 1916. He joined the Italian Communist Party since its foundation and became a member of the secretariat of the Italian branch of the Socialist International. Issued with Palmiro Togliatti in 1917, The New Order (Italian: Ordine Nuovo). In the month of July 1919

[3] Aya Majzoub, Food and Cash Aid is Vital if Lebanon Goes Back into Lockdown, Emergency Social Safety Net Should Be Developed, Communicated, and Rolled Out Without Delay, November 10, 2020, https://www.hrw.org/ar/news/2020/11/10/376987

[4] https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2021/05/01/lebanon-sinking-into-one-of-the-most-severe-global-crises-episodes

[5] For data about the blast’s consequences, see: United Nations’ Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs relevant situation reports.

[6] About this terminology, see: Geoffroy Lauvau, Raison d’Etat et Etat d’exception, dans: Encyclopédie de la culture politique contemporaine, dir. Alain Renaut et coord. Claire Demesmay, Pierre Zelenko et Ludivine Thiaw-Po-Une, Ed. Hermann, 2008, t.III, pp.352 et 354 (in French).

[7] It was then formally approved on 13 August 2020.

[8] On August 17, 2020.

[9] Initially scheduled to end on 21 August, it was extended until 18 September, 2020.

[10] Democracy Reporting International – Lebanon, Press Release dated August 14, 2020 about Beirut blast.

[11] The last decision was taken by the former (caretaker) Prime Minister and approved by the President.

[12] Compare: François Terré, Justice et équité dans le droit en crise, dans: Groupe d’auteurs dir. Simone Goyard et Francis Jacques, Le droit, le juste et l’équitable, Ed. Salvator, 2014, pp.234-235 (in French).

[13] On 14 September 2020, the Lebanese Government published a document (considered by some experts as being with no legal standing) issued by the Secretary-General of the Council of Ministers, to extend the powers granted to the Lebanese Armed Forces under the State of Emergency until 31 December 2020.

[14] The main slogan during the 2019-2020 peaceful protests was ‘’Killon ya’ni killon’’ “كلّن يعني كلّن” i.e. all of them means all of them (the whole corrupt establishment components).

[15] André Sleiman, A Moment for Change, Democracy Reporting International, December 2019.

ناصر ياسين، تأمّلات في انتفاضة تشرين اللبنانيّة، 25 تشرين الأول 2019، معهد عصام فارس، مقالات الرأي، بيروت (in Arabic) .

Issam Fares Institute and Lebanese Foundation for Permanent Civil Peace, October’s revolt, Round-Table, November 25, 2019, Issam Fares Institute, Beirut (in Arabic).

L’Observatoire de la fonction publique et de la bonne gouvernance de l’USJ-Beyrouth, et Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, Démocratie en crise, Démocratie en mutation, Colloque international, 14 novembre 2019, Beyrouth (mainly in French).

المنظمة الدولية للتقرير عن الديمقراطية، خطة الإصلاح: من الأزمة إلى الحكم الرشيد، ندوة 30 تشرين الثاني 2019، بيروت(in Arabic) .

[16] E.g. the “white shirt” (medical doctors) campaign.

[17] Outlined in the Lebanese Government’s “General Mobilisation Plan”.

[18] Compare: Brigitte Basdevant-Gaudemet, Religion et déclaration des droits, en Occident et dans le monde arabe, dans: Société d’Histoire du Droit, Droit Naturel et Droits de l’Homme, Journées Internationales, textes réunis par Martial Mathieu, Ed. CERDHAP, PUG, 2009, p.189 (in French).

[19] It would be interesting to assess related measures’ legality, legitimacy, necessity, proportionality, as well as time and geography limits. Also, it would be important to evaluate their impact on non-derogable rights, on the principle of non-discrimination, and on the right to an effective remedy. In addition, it would be interesting to evaluate parliamentary and judicial oversight, as well as the army’s general mobilization, its scope of intervention and powers used during the State of Emergency. Furthermore, it would be important to compare with: Article 4 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966); Article 4 of the Arab Charter of Human Rights (2004); Article 15 of the European Convention on Human Rights; Article 27 of the American Convention on Human Rights; and the Paris Minimum Standards of Human Rights Norms in a State of Emergency (1984).

[20] Michael Meyer-Resende and Hannah-Jil Prillwitz, Democracy Reporting International, Re:constitution programme, States of Emergency and the Rule of Law: A Primer, April 2020, Primer_SoE_FINAL_web.pdf (reconstitution.eu) ; Siren Associates, The State of Emergency in Lebanon, September 2020, The State of Emergency in Lebanon (sirenassociates.com) ; Karim El Mufti, Shrinking Democracy in Lebanon, Democracy Reporting International, Briefing Paper, December 2020, https://democracy-reporting.org ; Jacques Chevallier, L’Etat de droit, 4e Ed. Monchrestien, 2003, p.66 (in French).

[21] About the concept of rule of law, and the extent of its application in Lebanon before the recent states of emergency, see (in French – by the author of this study): Ghadir El’Alayli, Le droit naturel, fondement de l’Etat de droit panarabe, Editions Pedone, Paris, 2021.

[22] https://impact.cib.gov.lb/home

[23] See respectively Elie El-Ferzli’s two articles published on March 5 and June 5, 2021 in Al-Akhbar newspaper (in Arabic) : https://al-akhbar.com/Politics/301161           and :

https://al-akhbar.com/Community/307791

[24] See Rola Ibrahim’s article published on October 28, 2021 in Al-Akhbar newspaper (in Arabic) :

https://al-akhbar.com/Politics/321631

[25] For instance: The need to efficiently guarantee the right to go to court in urgent matters, and fundamental principles of fair trial, knowing that legal, judicial and contractual deadlines were suspended, and exceptional legal provisions in relation to debts, monetary dues, taxes, customs, fees and donations were provided; and: The overwhelming number of pending judicial files through several years and even decades, and the need to make rulings faster, knowing that the rotation of clerks’ staff was very challenging with the social distancing requirements. Nowadays, the full attendance of clerks’ staff is logistically threatened by the severe financial and petrol crises in the country.

[26] Ghadir El Alayli, Modest Administrative Decentralization In Lebanon And Its Expansion Plans, Journal of Constitutional Law in the Middle East and North Africa, December 2020 : http://www.jcl-mena.org/article.php?aid=6&iname=1

[27] Hassãn-Tabet Rifaat, Responsabilité pénale des anciens ministres, L’Orient-Le Jour, 23 octobre 2021, p.9 Idées, Commentaire (in French).

[28] This explains why some activists and politicians called for an international investigation. However, the previous Lebanese experience of international investigation and tribunal (concerning the assassination of Prime Minister Rafic El Hariri and others) was deceiving on the technical level and as to Lebanese people’s expectations to know the truth about the crime and all its perpetrators…

[29] William Ewart Gladstone.

[30] November 22.

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